The Worst News Imaginable

Diagnosis: Anencephaly

By Tina

One day I got wonderful news, and then months later received news that was the worst I could imagine. I thought I would be having a baby in April, but my world came crashing down on me when I was 14 weeks pregnant. I went for an ultrasound in my hometown and they said that something was wrong and that they were sending me to a university perinatal clinic for further testing. I had to wait a week; that was the longest week ever, but we made it there.

Upon arrival, I had an ultrasound and was sent to see a genetic counselor who was very nice. We sat down in her office and were faced with the worst news one could get. My baby was diagnosed with anencephaly<, a neural tube defect that results in the absence of major portions of the brain, skull and scalp. There was no chance for my baby to survive, so I was faced with a decision.

The counselor and the doctor were wonderful and answered all the questions that we had. I then was told about my options; there were only two at this point, since nothing could be done to save the baby. I could either be induced and go through the labour, or terminate the pregnancy with minor surgery. After serious consideration I decided to go ahead with the surgery. But in the meantime they did an amniocentesis where they insert a needle into the amniotic sac and withdraw fluid for testing.

I think this was the best choice for the baby and us. Since I was only 14 weeks, it was a relatively simple procedure. I was also told that there is a 95% chance that I will have normal pregnancies after this because this is a fluke that happened to us.

I believe that life isn't always fair, but you have to make the best of a terrible situation and keep your head high and always remember that life goes on. There will be better days ahead. I know that he/she will go to heaven and that this was a heartbreaking choice but those are the cards we were left holding. Time will heal our wounds. I will never forget.


Books on Loss and Grief

Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

The Dive :: A Memoir

A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

Precious Lives Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide

Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

Surviving Pregnancy Loss: A Complete Sourcebook for Women and Their Families

Difficult Decisions: For Families Whose Unborn Baby Has a Serious Problem

Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death